View Full Version : A video camera mounted on a locomotive for 17 hours draws a TV audience

January 14th, 2018, 04:44 PM
A 3 hour edited "highlights" of a "slow TV" video (with sound) from a camera mounted on the front of a locomotive brings in over 400,000 viewers on an Australian TV channel. The locomotive pulled "The Ghan" passenger train from Adelaide across the continent on a South to North run ending in Darwin 54 hours later. The video was shown without ad breaks.

This was followed up yesterday (Sunday) with a longer 17 hour version that ran from 02:30 to 19:30, again without ad breaks. This showed only the daylight segments of the trip although some viewers did ring in to complain about the missing night scenes. There are reports of many people who watched the entire 17 hours and one family who arranged their lounge room like a first class carriage on the train complete with dining car for meals.

I am a train buff and have travelled on "The Ghan" (the real trip not the reality TV trip), but I think that this probably says something - but exactly what I am not sure.

Some of the comments that came in on talk-back radio the next day were interesting.

"A video of grass growing would have been faster and more interesting" - obviously not a train fan.
"What about the Indian-Pacific next" - obviously a dedicated train fan because that trip takes 65 hours
"We have had a slow TV show like this for decades - its called 'Test Cricket'" - for those who don't know a Test Cricket game (between countries) can go for 7 hours a day for 5 days and, IMHO, is probably the most boring thing ever shown on TV.

January 14th, 2018, 05:12 PM
I watched 5 minutes of it. My only thoughts were;

- Whoever made the track really did a good job on the LOD transitions.
- So glad I'm not a train driver.
- Super glad I don't live in the Australian interior.

Then I switched the TV off and played Assassin's Creed Origins for 8 hours straight (also without ads).

January 14th, 2018, 06:29 PM
- Whoever made the track really did a good job on the LOD transitions.
- So glad I'm not a train driver.
- Super glad I don't live in the Australian interior.

Good one!!

January 14th, 2018, 07:29 PM
We had the SBS program of 'The Ghan' running all day on a big screen, while I was trying to follow a 3DS Max Tutorial on my computer. Needless to say, the big screen won over.

Switching the cameras over from the drivers cab, to the passengers cabin, to the restaurant, observation car, as well as, aerial shots of the surrounding countryside, made me marvel at how huge our continent really is.

The historical clips from a past era increased the interest, particularly when, from some aerial shots, you'd wonder how 'Burke and Wills' ever managed to do that walk.

And then you'd wonder, how many man-hours did it take to lay 2, 979 kilometres of track, 2 million sleepers and 93 bridges in extreme conditions. An incredible job !

I didn't mind what some people may consider boring,... sitting in a train and watching the scenery. I quite enjoyed it.

Thank you SBS.


January 15th, 2018, 12:01 AM
Is this another guinness world record for Australia in Trains category?

January 20th, 2018, 03:02 AM
Nah, Channel 9 has held that world record since 1969. Not about to be broken any time soon. 9 days of nothing but Apollo 11.....and you think the scenery outside a train window is boring :o.
Of course being an impressionable 8 year old at the time, I watched as much of it as I could.

January 24th, 2018, 04:23 PM
"SYDNEY, Australia Australia joins Alaska and Norway as stage, backdrop, and star for a 17-hour program featuring Great Southern Rail'sThe Ghan, in the latest incarnation of the so-called "slow TV" movement.

The Ghan is north-south transcontinental passenger train connecting Darwin, Northern Territory, in northern Australia, with Adelaide, South Australia in the south. A north-bound trip from Adelaide that departs on Sundays is scheduled for 53 hours, 15 minutes and includes excursion stops along the route. A 3-hour version of the program aired Jan., 7 and drew as many as 400,000 viewers, SBS television promoters report, according to Australia's Daily Telegraph. The longer, 17-hour version aired Jan. 14, and was also uploaded directly for viewing online via SBS On Demand. Viewers outside of Australia are unable to watch program at this time.

Filmmakers tell MediaWeek that they selected The Ghan for its path through diverse geography and cultures in Australia. A team rode with the train and monitored as many as 15 cameras through the journey to capture as many angles as possible."

- Curtesy Trains Magazine E-Newsletter -

January 24th, 2018, 04:43 PM
Viewers outside of Australia are unable to watch program at this time.
Thanks for mentioning this ... BUMMER !

January 25th, 2018, 12:24 AM
Yes, it was great watching the Ghan on the big screen. SBS put it on last weekend.

Some of the aerial shots were quite incredible, like following a train-line on Google Earth; and watching from the drivers cab gave added interest.

It's worth a look.